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Ontario limits the number of wolves that can be killed for sport

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Earthroots says Minister Ramsay is leading the pack in the right direction

(Toronto) Earthroots congratulates Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay, who today announced his decision to improve the conservation of wolves across the province. The Minister will regulate the recreational hunting of wolves by limiting the number each properly licensed hunter can shoot to two per year. Effective September 15th, hunters who want to shoot wolves, must now purchase a special wolf seal. Ontario hunters will have to pay $10 for the seal but non-residents will have to pay $250. Earthroots hopes this will lead to an end to sport hunting wolves; an activity that Americans are predominantly participating in. The Minister is also making it mandatory to report all wolves killed regardless of the method and reason.

“The days of managing the Big Bad Wolf are finally coming to an end,” says Melissa Tkachyk, Earthroots’ Wolves Ontario! Coordinator. “These new regulations will enable the government to better assess how many Eastern or Gray wolves are killed each year for sport or to protect livestock and the impact this is having within the ecosystem.”

Earthroots welcomes the new regulatory improvements calling today’s decision a good first step but says more work still needs to be done to protect wolves and their habitat. Wolves are only protected on 3% of their range in the province, while 97% is still open to hunting and trapping. Only a few parks are off-limits to hunters and trappers and large enough to sustain a viable wolf population.

“There is clearly an imbalance between the percentage of the province where wolves are managed as game and the few protected areas, off-limits to traps and bullets where wolves can just be wolves,” says Tkachyk. “Keeping critical wolf habitat areas free of exploitation is necessary if we want true wilderness in Ontario.”

Ontario had long been recognized as one of the worst jurisdictions in the world for its exploitative wolf management policies. Up until this year, wolves were treated as vermin and could be killed 365 days of the year without any limitations. This is the first time in the history of Ontario, that there are restrictions on killing wolves across the majority of their provincial range.

There is still no limit on the number of wolves each trapper can kill. Earthroots says between 500-600 wolves are trapped every year for the commercial sale of their pelts. The majority of wolves are caught in strangling neck snares, which Earthroots calls ‘a cruel and non-selective’ trap. 

Permanent Protection Granted for Algonquin’s Wolves

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Earthroots congratulates Minister of Natural Resources, David Ramsay who permanently banned the hunting and of wolves and coyotes in the 30 townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park on May 3, 2004.

Protection measures for the wolves of Algonquin Provincial Park include:

  • A permanent ban on the hunting and trapping of wolves and coyotes year-round in the 39 townships surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park. (The inclusion of coyotes in the regulation is essential to ensure the wolf killing prohibition is enforced. This measure reduces the likelihood of accidental wolf kills as it is difficult to distinguish between an eastern wolf, a coyote and a hybrid of the two).
  • A ban on the chasing of wolves or coyotes with dogs, both in the park and in townships surrounding the park
  • Adding the eastern wolf to the new list of Species at Risk in Ontario as a Species of Special Concern, which is consistent with its national designation given by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
  • The continuation of wolf research and monitoring to ensure the sustainability of the wolves in and around Algonquin Park
  • The developement of a provincial wolf management strategy

*Landowners are still permitted to harass, capture or kill wolves or coyotes in protection of their property and farm animals. 

Moratorium on canid harvest to protect eastern wolves around Algonquin Provincial Park

By | Media Release, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

(Toronto) Today Minister of Natural Resources announced a 30-month moratorium on the hunting and trapping of wolves in the 39 townships immediately surrounding Algonquin Provincial Park.

In 1998, Minister Snobelen appointed the Algonquin Wolf Advisory Group (AWAG) to recommend a long term Adaptive Management Plan for the wolves with the goal of reducing human-caused wolf mortality. On January 15th 2001, the committee’s recommendations were posted to the electronic Environmental Bill of Rights registry for a two-month public comment period. The central and most contested feature of the report was the suggestion to merely limit the hunting and trapping season in 37 townships surrounding the park. A full year round closure on hunting and trapping wolves was only recommended for 4 of the 37 townships. These townships: Finlayson, McClintock, Livingstone and Airy border the south gate of the park. Killing the wolves within these townships would affect the success of the popular public wolf howl. 

Dr. John Theberge is critical of this short-term decision – “The timeframe for the ban, limited to 2 ‡ years, is still not long enough. It is not long enough for a significant population recovery; ultimately a permanent ban must be implemented.” 

Canada’s eastern wolf population at risk

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Eastern wolves listed as a Species of Special Concern at the Federal level

(Toronto) On May 3rd, 2001 the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) listed the Eastern wolf as a Species of Special Concern because of characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activity or natural events. COSEWIC is a National Committee with representatives from the federal and provincial governments, private agencies and individual experts.